MATTHEW 3
Chapter 4

Roy Osborne
February 2015

THE TEMPTATIONS OF EVERY MAN

The record of the temptations in Chapter 4 is more than an incident in the life of Jesus.  It is the story of the entire human problem beginning with Adam.  You will notice that each of the three temptations appealed to the personal needs or the ego needs for personal possessions or power.  This is the constant problem that everyone faces in trying to fulfill the Creator’s needs for us.  In every instance of sin it is the self-centered desire for ego satisfaction, power or personal possessions that causes us to leave the spiritual qualities of love and righteousness and reach for that which satisfies the earth man.  James says it clearly when he says a man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lusts and enticed.

The wonderful thing about Jesus is that He was tempted in all things like as we are, yet without sin.  This speaks to His humanness and His perfect determination to do His Father’s will.  God wants His creatures to love Him, and He is Spirit.  When we ignore the spiritual qualities of love and righteousness in order to please our own human desires, as Adam did, we are sinners, for that is the definition of sin.  Humility, which is the necessary and intimate quality of a true Christian, is putting my own desires to one side and striving to follow His leading instead of my own.

Another way of saying this is by defining true love.  When you love another, then that person’s happiness is more important to you than your own happiness.  When we love God that is the motto of our life.

In each instance of the temptations of Jesus, He quoted from the Old Testament.  Obviously, He had spent much time reading the Word of God as He was growing up.  The only way one can be a true disciple of the Lord is to know His will, and the only way to do that is to personally study His Word.  Don’t depend on some preacher or teacher telling you what God wants.  This is what creates factions and division…following men.  Go to the Book and listen for yourself to the Word of God.  Then you will have a faith of your own, not one borrowed and interpreted by someone else’s mind.  Make Him your personal Savior, and you will be blessed.

Jesus promised His disciples, “I will be with you always”.  When you accepted Christ in Baptism, as Peter promised on Pentecost, you  received the Holy Spirit.  So the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Jesus dwell in you.  You should talk to them often.  When temptation arises you should say, “Lord, what would you have me to do?”  Then, He can lead you aright.  But if you ignore Him, and follow what the earth man wants, you thwart His Holy Spirit, and follow the devil’s leading